Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Dear Readers in the Blogosphere,

I hope you all had a wonderful and joy-filled Christmas (or if you don't celebrate Christmas, that you just had a great day)! I am on Long Island until mid-January so I got to be with all of my east coast family for the special occasion.

On Christmas Eve my cousin Lucie came over and we made a delicious Cranberry Cake with Butter Sauce. I got the recipe for it from that amazing Amish cookbook that I love called Cooking from Quilt Country. My parents, Lucie, my aunts, uncle and I went out to dinner at a restaurant in Huntington called Dao and then they all came over to my house and we had the cake for dessert. It was a great hit!

Working hard or hardly working? :)
Today, Christmas Day, after a morning of stockings, presents, pancakes that only my mom can perfect and lots of smiles and well-wishing phone calls, my parents and I headed over to my cousin Aisha's house for dinner. About fifteen of us gathered together and ate a German inspired meal of Sauerbraten, red cabbage and mashed potatoes. We used to have a more traditional American meal of turkey and ham but as of last year we have evidently been on a German kick so we are eating the meal that my uncle's German mother used to make for the holidays. Even though I am not German and I do tend to prefer a more traditional menu it is still interesting to be exposed to a dish that is so popular in another part of the world. After all, Sauerbraten is a national dish of Germany! As long as it is made with beef and not the historically traditional horse meat I am okay with it! The large amount of beef used for the dish is marinated for a few days before it is served which is fascinating to me because I don't think I have ever made anything further in advance than the day before!

My cousin Aisha with her husband, Don in the kitchen getting ready to serve dinner.
I love Christmas. And not just the day. I love the Christmas season. I love the smells of pine trees and sap. I love the crisp air on your face while your body stays warm under a nice sweater. I love Christmas music. NPR plays interesting Christmas music from all over the world; I am partial to that of the Irish.

I love sleeping under layers of blankets so I stay warm except the tip of my nose is a little chilly; it's a great excuse to burrow deeper under the covers or maybe to delay getting out of bed for a few minutes more. I love cups of hot tea that seem to warm your bones and loosen your muscles. I love white Christmas lights and tastefully displayed ones with color. I am not, however, a big fan of the huge inflatable snowmen/ Santas, sorry! To each his own! ;)

Every since I was little I have loved this angel.
I love shopping for presents as long as I start early enough that it doesn't become a chore. You have to look for long enough that you can actually find something that speaks to you for each person on your list. I don't believe in giving presents because you have to; what is the point of that? It's all about sincerity.

I recycled a Vanity Fair magazine to wrap some of my presents!
I love Christmas decorations and seeing mysterious presents of all shapes and sizes with unique wrapping jobs. I love stockings hanging in the living room. My dad still has the stocking that his mother made for him when he was very young!

I love this stocking!
I think the anticipation of Christmas is almost better than the actual day only because when it's actually December 25th I know that soon the decorations will come down. I get so excited when people open presents that I have gotten for them! Luckily we get Christmas every year so I know it's never too far away from being that time again!

My mom always does a great job making the house festive!
I think it is good to reflect a bit about the holiday season and what it means to you as an individual and what you want it to mean to your children, if you have them. Yes, it is about gifts and food and family but it is also a celebration of the birth of Christ. No matter your religious convictions I think it is fair to say that Jesus had an admirable character and I think we could all better ourselves if we applied his principles of compassion and forgiveness and generosity to our every day lives. Ironically the birth of this simple man who gave away all of his worldly possessions has spawned a holiday that has become synonymous with consumption. So even though wish lists have already been made and presents given, I think it is good to reflect on this day and to realize how much each of us already has in our possession. I have a family that loves me. I have a warm bed to sleep  in. I have food in my belly. I am grateful.

Beauty in the details: the considerably large shadows cast by the small white lights.
I will continue the saga of the Fierce Asparagus adventures within the next couple days. Forgive my digital absence this past week and a half, the real world was calling!

Blessings and Peace to each and every one of you.
Over and Out!


No comments:

Post a Comment